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AS AN integrated marketing communications agency, Quirk has told stories and built meaningful experiences that people remember and love. Its efforts extend beyond conventional business functions and objectives.
By striving to do good work regardless of the size of the project or client, and leveraging its design and marketing capabilities in its corporate giving efforts, the SME has reshaped the notion of giving through skills-based volunteerism.
"Being in the creative industry, CSR (corporate social responsibility) is never a primary motivation of the business unlike perhaps social enterprises or NGOs (non-governmental organisations). I have always thought that it would be great to work in a company that helps and somehow contributes to the society in however small a way - a company with a heart. We are just an SME, not a global MNC with big resources to be able to donate money, we therefore started to think of other ways we can contribute," says Rina Lim, managing director of Quirk.
Quirk has experienced exponential growth since the company's incorporation almost eight years ago. The firm has worked on more than 800 projects with enterprises ranging from SMEs to those in the government sector and non-profit organisations.
Ms Lim says: "To be able to give and help those in need . . . tapping our skills and capabilities, we really get a sense of fulfilment. Doing good feeds the soul and keeps us grounded."
Quirk partnered with Project Dreamcatchers, an initiative by the Department of Paediatrics, National University Hospital, to empower youths with childhood chronic illnesses through art.
Paintings, sculptures and art installations are mostly done by the patients themselves with the help of design mentors - some of whom are Quirk's contacts - and the pieces are displayed at an annual art exhibition.
Through the event, youth participants are given opportunities to produce artwork to share their aspirations and hopes through a series of collaborations with artists and designers, and more importantly, convey the message that childhood chronic illnesses are not disabling.
Final art pieces will be showcased in an exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum from Dec 9, 2016, to Jan 22, 2017, as a parallel project of the Singapore Biennale.
"Working with Project Dreamcatchers allows us to tap our designers' creative talents and account executives' project management capabilities to help Project Dreamcatchers with their cause. This enables us to do good with what we are already good at. A win-win solution," says Ms Lim.
She added that it is a nice surprise when potential employees voice their interest in joining a company such as Quirk which gives back to the community. "When interviewing potential employees, we often hear about how they have witnessed what we have done and want to be part of a company that does what it can, in however small the effort or scale,'' says Ms Lim.
Quirk's corporate giving efforts have indeed boosted the morale of its employees and talent retention and Ms Lim is happy that "people really do care about the company's corporate giving initiatives which, in turn, boosts motivation for potential employees to join the company".
"It reaffirms us that we are doing something meaningful."